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What are the signs that you need to change?

career change career goals self-reflection Jun 21, 2022

How good are you at recognising the signs that you need to change something?

I believe I am pretty good at some: when my computer crashes after 5pm, it’s time to go home; when the dog tries to jump on the table it’s time for a walk; and when I am regularly falling asleep on the couch in front of the television at 8pm it is time to start going to bed before midnight.

However there are lots of signs that I just ignore. Take the stiffness in my lower back which comes when I spend too much time at the computer. I know that sitting for a long time aggravates an old injury but I still do it. I have lots of great excuses like needing to send one more email, finish writing some material, or watch that youtube clip someone sent me. You know really important stuff.

Then there are the signs that something is fundamentally out of sync in your life: you dread the alarm clock going off every morning; you find excuses to miss that yoga class you used to love; you put off returning someone’s phone call; or my personal favourite, you find yourself crying in the shower for no apparent reason.
Kasey Edwards describes this feeling of unease beautifully and authentically in her (really funny) book, 30 something and over it. Her search for a working life of greater meaning came about when she realised she did not want to go to work as a management consultant, not just today but EVER AGAIN.

Regularly losing your keys, temper or friends are all signs that something is up in your life. The problem is we sometimes ignore the subtle early warning signs that something is up, and wait for the major calamity to wake us up.

There is a great saying that you get three warnings to change your life: a feather, rock or a truck. The truck can be a major crisis like retrenchment or serious illness, so it makes sense to develop our awareness of the feathers and rocks in our lives.

One way to do this is through a regular practice of self-reflection. That is taking time out where you can sit quietly with yourself and connect to all your senses, not just the whirring of your mind. Meditation and mindfulness can support you, as can a walk in the park or just spending sometime in nature. If you really struggle with time, a few minutes observing your breathing will help.

If you are recognising the need for change, I suggest you check out the coaching and programs on offer at Albany Lane.

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